Tubular battery is a type of lead acid battery in which the positive electrode is not a grid, but a comb like lead skeleton that holds the positive material with the help of tubular bags. The structure looks like a series of tubes kept side by side along the length of the electrode, hence the name “tubular”.
Tubular batteries are used in applications like home power backup, electric propulsion of vehicles, solar equipment etc.
Tubular batteries are “deep discharge” kind of batteries i.e. You will get a small amount of current(5–10Amps) for a very long period of time (12–24 hours). Tubular batteries cannot produce burst of current because the electrodes are thicker than the ones in a flat plate model and hence produce a low surface area. That’s why they cannot be used in applications where a huge amount of current is needed for a very short length of time(like starting your car in the morning).
Tubular batteries are known to last twice as long as a normal flat plate battery because the positive active material does not shed off due to protection offered by the tubes. Positive material shedding is the primary reason for failure of lead batteries. Typical life ranges from 4 to 8 years.